Proper Wave Management: Adapting to Champion Scaling (Part 2)
Hello community, Angelo “Misleading” from Zenith eSports here!
Welcome to the fourth article in the “Proper Wave Management” series. (If you have not yet read the previous wave management articles, you may click the following links to visit them – 1st 2nd 3rd). In our previous article, we talked about recommended wave management techniques while on an early game champion. Today, we are going to jump straight into things and finish up the wave management series and discuss recommended wave management techniques for when we pilot mid game champions or late game champions.
Unlike early game champions, mid game champions and late game champions are reliant on their completing their core items to stay relevant throughout the game. Until these champions have collected enough gold and purchased their core items, they look to avoid trivial skirmishes and team fights. Mid game oriented champions generally power spike when they have two to three items. Late game oriented champions generally power spike when they have three to four items. Only after these champions complete their core items and reach their power spike, they begin to look into influencing other areas of the map and taking objectives.
Mid Game Champion vs
An Early Game Champion
BEFORE OUR POWER SPIKE :: As a mid game champion against an early game champion, our options for wave management are limited until we complete our core items. Before we reach our power spike, we should soft/slow push the lane and attempt to freeze the minion wave on our side of the lane. If our opponent tries to freeze the minion wave on his side of the lane, reset the wave as soon as possible. We need to play cautiously when the minion wave is on our opponent’s side of the lane or when a large minion wave (more than 10 minions) is approaching our tower. Wards should be placed in areas to spot our lane opponent if he/she leaves the lane to roam or if another opponent, like the enemy jungler, comes to tower dive us.
AFTER OUR POWER SPIKE :: After we complete our core items, we should have lane advantage. We can hard/fast push our lane to prevent our opponent from roaming or recalling or create opportunities for ourselves to roam and influence other areas of the map. We can also slow/soft push to build a minion wave so we may create opportunities to take an objective or tower dive our opponent with the help of our jungler.
A Mid Game Champion
As a mid game champion against another mid game champion, we have several wave management techniques available to us. We can hard/fast push the lane to give ourselves an opportunity to influence other areas of the map and prevent our opponent from leaving the lane. We can also slow/soft push the minion wave to try to freeze the minion wave on our side of the lane and try to deny our opponent from farming as much as we can. We should reset the minion wave as soon as possible if our opponent tries to freeze the minion wave on his side of the lane. While we hard/fast push, we need to establish the proper vision to tell us if the enemy jungler is nearby. If we decide to try and freeze the lane, we should still have wards to track our opponent if he/she decides to leave the lane. Keep in mind that our primary objective is to collect enough gold for our core items before making any major moves.
A Late Game Champion
As a mid game champion against a late game champion, we can hard/fast push the lane to give ourselves an opportunity to roam or invade the enemy jungle or we can try to freeze the minion wave on our side of the lane. It would be in our favor to try and freeze the minion wave on our side of the lane so we can try and deny gold from our late game opponent – delaying his inevitable power spike. Since our opponent is a late game champion, it is unlikely he will leave the lane to skirmish or team fight if we can successful freeze the minion wave. When we reach our power spike, we may focus on building the minion wave so we can tower dive our opponent or take objectives.
Late Game Champion vs
An Early Game Champion
As a late game champion against an early game champion, we need to accept that we have minimal control over the minion wave. Our primary objective is to farm as much gold as possible, for our core items, in the shortest amount of time possible (without dying to our opponent). The laning phase will most likely end before we finish our core items if our opponent knows how to pilot his champion. In this situation, we should focus on slow/soft pushing and freezing the minion wave on our side of the lane. Our opponent, since he has a natural advantage, may try to freeze the minion wave on his side of the lane. Try to avoid this situation by resetting the minion wave. If and only if we have a clear advantage in lane can we try to hard/fast push to force our opponent to stay in lane instead of roaming or invading our jungle
A Mid Game Champion
BEFORE OUR POWER SPIKE :: When we are against a mid game champion as a late game champion, we have a little more wave management techniques available to us. Our primary objective is still to farm as much gold as possible, however, during the laning phase. For now, we should slow/soft push and try to freeze the minion wave on our side of the lane. If our opponent tries to freeze the minion wave on his/her side of the lane, we need to break it and reset the minion wave as soon as we can. Our opponent will hit his power spike before us because he is a mid game oriented champion. Which means that, if we are strong enough, we should hard/fast push the minion wave and prevent our opponent from influencing other lanes during his power spike. Don’t forget about the necessary wards!
AFTER OUR POWER SPIKE :: Sometimes the laning phase will last long enough for us to complete our items and reach our power spike. At this point in time, we should either hard/fast push the minion wave to apply constant map pressure or soft/slow push to build the minion wave. Do not freeze the minion wave any more. Now that we have reached our power spike, we do whatever is necessary to take all objectives.
A Late Game Champion
As a late game champion against another late game champion, the laning phase can be surprisingly dynamic (or just plain boring). Since we are both late game champions, we have relatively weak laning phases and we only desire to farm gold. But because we both have relatively weak laning phases, we can effectively bully each other in a one versus one situation. In this match up, junglers can make all the difference. With respect to lane management, it is ideal for us to slow/soft push and attempt to freeze the minion wave on our side of the lane. Hard/fast pushing our opponent is not very efficient because our opponent wants to stay in lane anyways. Another option is to slow/soft push to build the minion wave. As a late game champion, our opponent is vulnerable to tower dives if the minion wave attacking the turret is large enough. The late game versus late game champion matchup is a swing matchup. Proper warding to detect potential external influence is essential.
Some Final Words
By now, we should have a solid understanding of how we should approach lane management – regardless of what champion we play or what champion our opponent plays. We should also have enough wave management techniques at our disposal to adapt to uncommon or novel situations. We should hard/fast push to keep our opponents from leaving the lane. We should soft/slow push if we want to farm or try to delay our opponents from reaching their power spike. And we should build the minion wave if we want to start pressuring objectives or create opportunities to tower dive our opponent. Knowing proper wave management helps reduce the amount of uncertainty and risk that exists when we decide to enter the rift. The sooner we learn, understand, and apply effective wave management techniques the better. Don’t forget that the only way to master wave management is to practice it every chance you get. Don’t wait. Start now.
About the Author :: Misleading is an analyst-coach with an entrepreneurial mindset who looks to share his knowledge in and passion for competitive League of Legends with the gaming community. He achieved Diamond rank in 2014 and decided to walk down the path of a dedicated support staff member – instead of conditioning to become a professional League of Legends player. After being involved in League of Legends eSports for two years, he has had the privilege and opportunity to work internationally and with many amateur and professional League of Legends teams. His favorite quote is: “Success happens when opportunity meets preparation.”